Directed by Steven Spielberg
Release Date December 25, 2011
Movie Summary: Young Albert enlists to service in WWI after his beloved horse, Joey, is sold to the cavalry. Albert's hopeful journey takes him out of England and across Europe as the war rages on.
My Review: War Horse is a film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on Michael Morpugo's 1982 best-seller, which was previously adapted for the stage, debuting in London 2007. The movie follows the life experiences of a Horse, from birth to his recruitment in WWI, we are privy to the world in which he belongs; but to whom, the question is asked. They say a horse, is a horse, is a horse but not in this film. Breathtaking, heartbreaking and full of heroic equine behavior, you will not leave the theater with a dry eye. Go on, we dare you.
What Spielberg has managed to do is something remarkable in our sense. He has created a film that any age group can view and feel satisfied; a story that is rich with deep meaning for all, yet unique to the movie patron and their own personal familiarity with the subject manner.
The first half is set in the beautiful English countryside, where Joey (the Thoroughbred) must be taught to plow the rough and rocky plains or the family will not afford the rent they owe their landlord--a bind the father had gotten them into due to his drunken purchase of the horse to begin with. This portion of the film is used to develop the bond between boy and horse and gives us a glimpse into the unwavering determination both beast and child prove to be instilled with. But before we can become sympathetic to the family’s plights, War is eminent.
Before long, the horse is leased to the English army with his fate left to the care of the officer who assures Albert (Jeremy Irvine) that he will look after him. It is here that Albert makes a solemn promise to his horse that he will find him one day, and from there the movie truly begins.
Spielberg avoids any emphasis, but simply depicts both Germans and the English in what is historically, one of the most savages wars fought. From a French farm on the brink of torrential bombings, to trench warfare, to the infamous No Man’s Land, the visuals are abundant and the story persistent in its trek forward to its concluding, Gone With The Wind’ish ending, we truly enjoyed War Horse.
When we turned to our daughters to see if the tears were for the horse and his endeavors throughout the war, our girls replied, they were not. The tears were for a particular scene in which two young German soldiers flee from their duties, their punishment eminent. My daughters were able to sympathize and move beyond the relationship between the horse and the young boy who raised him. They were simply entertained and moved by the film in its entirety. And that is Spielberg magic, my friend!
War Horse is an excellent movie and we definitely recommend it. War Horse premieres December 25, 2011.
Cast and Credit:
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Jeremy Irvine-Albert Narracott
Peter Mullan-Ted Narracott
Emily Watson-Rose Narracott